Love Your Political Frenemies

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Image: Jonathan Barlett

On a typical Thanksgiving I would have been in the house with my family, putting the final touches on the meal. We might even have talked about religion and politics as we worked, but not in a bad dinner conversation kind of way. For the better part of a decade, we had all read the same theologians, admired the same pundits, and echoed each other’s opinions on social issues.

On the Thanksgiving two weeks after the 2016 election, however, I stood alone on my deck and wept. Five years earlier, God had begun using a series of major life events to resurrect long-buried aspects of my story. In the process, I had come to see the world very differently than my family did—and come to see certain family members as something like wrong-headed adversaries.

Now, where I saw catastrophe, all they could see was me “overreacting.” I felt alienated and disoriented.

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Categories: Culture/Social issues, Spiritual Formation, Uncategorized

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4 replies

  1. This is so beautiful, Judy. I can think of other words to describe it: challenging, a bit surprising, truth-filled. But beautiful sums up this upside-down Way of Jesus. Thanks for showing this Way so clearly and for sharing what you have seen and learned with us.

  2. Judy, I am reading this at such an opportune time. As our church considers a welcome and affirming statement, I am finding it a challenge to continually explain why language that lists specific groups of people that we welcome is indeed a good thing to do, instead of a divisive one. Your post reminds me that God’s church is full of people who don’t agree, but Jesus calls us all to serve. How to do so without assenting to continual uniformity and conformity, mistaking that for unity. That is the challenge for us.

  3. Hi, Judy. Thank you so very much for pouring out your energy, time, thought and immense heart into sharing all of this. I am so moved by your personal experiences and deeply challenged by the profound insights and invitation you’ve shared here. This article has helped usher me onto sacred ground. Through it, I clearly hear Jesus’ invitation to love as he loves. I am wrestling with and praying over what that looks like for me. Time and time again, you hold up Jesus’ light in the darkness. Thank you. Thank you.

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